#AMonthofFaves: What Worked and Didn’t This Year

December 12, 2018


Today’s prompt:

#AMonthofFaves Routines, Habits and Changes. What Worked this Year and/or What Didn’t. What habits, routines or rituals worked for you this year – either something you kept doing – or something new that you started? What did you try that didn’t work … or what did you used to do that no longer works for you?

Okay, I wanted to make this a teaching reflection, but I am still grading my students’ reflections so haven’t gathered enough evidence on that yet, so that will come later. In the meantime, here are some things that worked and didn’t for me this year:

1. I found a gym that offers water aerobics classes and, since this summer, have been going twice a week. That’s not enough but it’s better than the once a week at the beginning of the year. The summer break was a godsend because I discovered that the morning water aerobics classes are where it’s at, so this semester, I’ve been getting up on Friday and going along with my regular Tuesday night class. For the past two weeks, I’ve been forcing myself to go to the Thursday night class I don’t like all that much so I can get in three days of gym time. This has tremendously helped my mood as I’m sure you can guess.

2. I quit going to one of my support groups earlier in the year, which was a total disaster. As of last week, I’m back.

3. Even though it’s been hard, I’ve been going to therapy pretty much every week. Denial is real, reality is hard, and getting better is worth the effort.

4. I quit listening to audiobooks and podcasts sometime in the spring/summer because of work, probably. I now listen to mostly gospel music in the car. Neither is better nor worse than the other, so this just is what it is. It is time for me to start looking for a church in earnest, though.

5. I got a car so stopped walking and/or riding my bike everywhere. I wish this weren’t so, but convenience has won out.

6. I’ve been drinking a lot of peppermint tea, but that’s less because I love it and more because my stomach feels like it needs constant soothing.

7. Oh, a thing I have been doing lately is reading self-help books right before bed. This is both a good idea and a terrible idea. Good because positivity blah blah. Bad because sometimes I get inspired to journal and that could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes (OR LONGER) so I then delay going to sleep and I don’t get enough of that as it is.

8. Again, for health, I’ve recently started meditating every morning. It’s certainly helped my mental state. I didn’t realize how stressed out I am every morning until I started doing it.

9. I did find it very helpful to set monthly goals, though I stopped doing it in May or June. It was nice to have smaller tasks to focus on.

I guess that’s it for now. I’m going to probably talk more about some of these things during the prompt about goals for next year.

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  1. Andi

    There’s so much good stuff here. It sounds like you are rocking self-care and doing what you need to do. I never realized how much meditation would help me. It’s SO HARD to quiet my mind. Peppermint tea is my go-to, and if I don’t want to taste peppermint tea, I combine it with a bag of orange spice or something like that. Just in case that’s a thing that might work for you.

  2. hmsgofita

    I like your list of things that work and you stopped and are now back into it! Self-care is so important. And I hear you on self-help books right before bed. Meditation is something I’m really trying to get into my consistent self-care routine. Good luck this next year! Wishing you all the best.

  3. Ally Bean

    This is great. I find that by reviewing what works for me and what doesn’t I get farther toward what I want. Obviously you do that, too. I drink lots of peppermint tea, but I never read any self-help books before bedtime. Your experience with wanting to write immediately after reading something that is life-changing rings true with me. It’s all about the process, isn’t it?

  4. Kim

    I just tried Peppermint tea for the first time last night and loved it!

  5. natashajk

    I too stopped walking as much this year (I got lazier) and I feel worse physically and mentally so I really need to add that back in.

    And thank you for reminding me of monthly goals, rather than yearly ones. I feel like monthly goals are so much easier to attain.

  6. Bryan G. Robinson

    One common theme I’m seeing here among all of the posts (for MonthofFaves) is developing a morning routine to help us all keep calm, to start our day, and I think that is so important. I use “chill” music to start my day and this next year I’m going to try to incorporate Morning Prayer from The Book of Common Prayer. And journaling, even if it is online.


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